I would like to consider myself a bit of a tech guy, but when it comes to the actual physical parts of a computer, i might as well be a monkey drivin’ a boat.
Just the other day i learned what RAM is lol.
Anyway my current computer is a dual core computer with gigs of ram… 64 bit system… umm… That’s about all that i know of in computer parts.
Anyway i am in the position where i can get a new computer. Not exactly high tech thousands of dollars alien ware kind of stuff. So i was wondering what components of a computer aid in 3D modeling and animation work?
or what should i be looking for i guess you could say : P
You’ll probably want an Intel COre i5/7 Quad Core, ranging from $200-$500+, overclocking will get you better value if you get a K version.
I’d recommend 16GB of DDR3 ram, try get a 1600MHz minimum, with lowest timings, should be around $160
Any decent motherboard will do, but try get one with 2 full speed PCI-E slots (PCI-E 3 x16), and 4 RAM slots. Would be between $110-$150 generally.
For the graphics card, you’ll probably want something like an nVidia GTX 760 or greater, with a min 2GB GDDR5 memory, this is alot more important if you do GPU rendering. Price will vary from around $250 to $800 depending on what you get.
Case/powersupply, make sure the case has decent cooling, preferably atleast 2/3 case fans (might have to add a few) and a PSU that can handle what you want, 650W would be fine for a single GPU.
Last, I would highly recommend a Solid State Drive, a 256GB one can be had for around $180, and it will have a huge benifit on a number of things, general responsiveness and loading of programs, or data.
It is also worth considering an AMD based motherboard. I use AMD 8350s in a few of my render machines and they compare very well with my Intel systems. They are more affordable for similar performance (unless you look at the highest levels if Intel chips which are quicker but cost an insane amount).
About the graphics card, make sure it is Nvidia and has as much VRAM as you can afford in a model.
I’ve found recently (atleast where I live) that a Quad Core i5 3570k ($265) can be had (CPU + Mobo) for roughly the same price as the 8350 ($245) + Mobo. You can get alot more performance and thermal Overclocking headroom out of the i5 with a stock cooler, than the 8350. Not that the 8350 is by itself really slower, it just requires more cooling to increase the speed, and uses more electricity, which here can cost a bit.
8350 typical is 159W (rendering could push that higher) 12 (hours) * 159W * 60 (min) * 60 (sec) * 365 (days) = 2507112000 J / 3,600,000 J (kWH) * $0.21 (Cost/kWH) = $146/year
it 2570k typical is 107W (agai rendering could make that higher) 12 (hours) * 107W * 60 (min) * 60 (sec) * 365 (days) = 1687176000 J / 3,600,000 J (kWH) * $0.21 (Cost/kWH) = $98/year
That could be $48 saved in 1 year, which is already the difference between the two in cost, and $240 saved over 4 years.
Of course that matters more (like at my house) when I have between 3-5 PC’s constantly rendering overnight
I appreciate all of your advice : ) And i am certainly writing this all down and keeping track of it : )
I’m only left with 2 questions.
Is there a wiki page or something that can kind of go over the basics of what these components are and do? I mean, i may not need to know for sure but it would be great knowing all this information just like all of you do : )
And then, if i take a list of these specs and components to say… Best buy, would people there be able to look at the list and help point me in the right direction? O_o